Why Has Housing Supply Increased as Sales Have Slowed Down?

According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the inventory of homes for sale this year compared to last year has increased for the last four months, all while sales of existing homes have slowed compared to last year’s numbers. For over three years leading up to this point, the exact opposite was true; Inventory dropped as sales soared. NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun shed some light on what could be contributing to this shift, “This is the lowest existing home sales level since November 2015. A decade’s high mortgage rates are preventing consumers from making quick decisions on home purchases. All the while, affordable home listings remain low, continuing to spur underperforming sales activity across the country.” Let’s take a deeper look: Interest Rates Since January, 30-year fixed mortgage interest rates have increased nearly a full percentage point (from 3.95% to 4.9%). Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the National Association of Realtors, and the Mortgage Bankers Association are all in agreement that rates will continue to increase to about 5.2% over the next 12 months. “The rise in [mortgage] rates paired with this very strong price appreciation absolutely is slowing housing,” said Fannie Mae’s Chief Economist Doug Duncan. Even though rates are higher than they’ve been in a decade, they still remain below the average for the 1970s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s! Mismatch of Inventory Elizabeth Mendenhall, President of NAR, said it best, “Despite small month over month increases, the share of first-time…

2 Factors to Watch in Today’s Real Estate Market Whether Buying or Selling

When it comes to buying or selling a home there are many factors you should consider. Where you want to live, why you want to buy or sell, and who will help you along your journey are just some of those factors. When it comes to today’s real estate market, though, the top two factors to consider are what’s happening with interest rates & inventory. Interest Rates Mortgage interest rates have been on the rise and are now over three-quarters of a percentage point higher than they were at the beginning of the year. According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates climbed to 4.72% for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage last week. The interest rate you secure when buying a home not only greatly impacts your monthly housing costs, but also impacts your purchasing power. Purchasing power, simply put, is the amount of home you can afford to buy for the budget you have available to spend. As rates increase, the price of the house you can afford to buy will decrease if you plan to stay within a certain monthly housing budget. The chart below shows the impact that rising interest rates would have if you planned to purchase a $400,000 home while keeping your principal and interest payments between $2,020-$2,050 a month. With each quarter of a percent increase in interest rate, the value of the home you can afford decreases by 2.5% (in this example, $10,000). Experts predict that mortgage rates will be over…

Mortgage Interest Rates are Still Going Up… Should You Wait to Buy?

Mortgage interest rates, as reported by Freddie Mac, have increased by close to a quarter of a percent over the last several weeks. Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Association of Realtors are all calling for mortgage rates to rise another quarter of a percent by next year. In addition to the predictions from the four major reporting agencies mentioned above, the Federal Open Market Committee recently voted “unanimously to approve a 1/4 percentage point increase in the primary credit rate to 2.75 percent.” Historically, an increase in the primary credit rate has translated to an overall jump in mortgage interest rates as well. This has caused some purchasers to lament the fact that they may no longer be able to get a rate below 4%. However, we must realize that current rates are still at historic lows. Here is a chart showing the average mortgage interest rate over the last several decades: Bottom Line Though you may have missed the lowest mortgage rate ever offered, you can still get a better interest rate than your older brother or sister did ten years ago, a lower rate than your parents did twenty years ago, and a better rate than your grandparents did forty years ago.

Should I Buy Now? Or Wait Until Next Year? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: The cost of waiting to buy is defined as the additional funds it would take to buy a home if prices & interest rates were to increase over a period of time. Freddie Mac predicts interest rates to rise to 5.2% by the third quarter of 2019. CoreLogic predicts home prices to appreciate by 5.1% over the next 12 months. If you are ready and willing to buy your dream home, find out if you are able to!

Where Are Mortgage Interest Rates Headed In 2019?

The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment; the higher the rate, the greater the payment will be. That is why it is important to know where rates are headed when deciding to start your home search. Below is a chart created using Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic & Housing Marketing Outlook. As you can see, interest rates are projected to increase steadily over the course of the next year. How Will This Impact Your Mortgage Payment? Depending on the amount of the loan that you secure, a half of a percent (.5%) increase in interest rate can increase your monthly mortgage payment significantly. According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, national home prices have appreciated 6.2% from this time last year and are predicted to be 5.1% higher next year. If both the predictions of home price and interest rate increases become a reality, families would wind up paying considerably more for their next homes. Bottom Line Even a small increase in interest rate can impact your family’s wealth, so don’t wait until next year! Let’s get together to evaluate your ability to purchase your dream home now.

What Does the Future Hold for Home Prices?

Home prices are at the top of everyone’s minds. Can they maintain their current pace of appreciation? Will rising mortgage rates negatively impact home values? Will the next economic slowdown cause prices to crash? Let’s try to answer these questions based on what has happened in the past as well as what we know about the current real estate market. The Impact of Rising Interest Rates We explained earlier this year that rising mortgage rates have not negatively impacted home prices in the past and probably wouldn’t this time either. Freddie Mac’s comments were very direct: “In the current housing market, the driving force behind the increase in prices is a low supply of both new and existing homes combined with historically low rates. As mortgage rates increase, the demand for home purchases will likely remain strong relative to the constrained supply and continue to put upward pressure on home prices.” They were correct. So far this year, home values have continued to appreciate above normal historic percentages and it appears the gradual increase in rates has had little impact on prices. The Impact of an Economic Slowdown Many people fear that when the economy turns, we may see the same depreciation in home values as we did a decade ago. However, we recently reported that the same group of economists, real estate experts, and investment & market strategists who predicted the next recession will occur in the next 18-24 months have also projected that house prices will continue to…

Rent or Buy: Either Way You’re Paying A Mortgage!

There are some people who have not purchased homes because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize, however, that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s. As Entrepreneur Magazine, a premier source for small business, explained in their article, “12 Practical Steps to Getting Rich”: “While renting on a temporary basis isn’t terrible, you should most certainly own the roof over your head if you’re serious about your finances. It won’t make you rich overnight, but by renting, you’re paying someone else’s mortgage. In effect, you’re making someone else rich.” With home prices rising, many renters are concerned about their house-buying power. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, explained: “Over the last three years, renter house-buying power has increased fast enough to keep pace with house price appreciation, so the share of homes that a renter can afford to buy has remained the same since 2015. Although mortgage rates are expected to rise, they are still low by historic standards, and real household incomes are the highest they have ever been. Assuming this trend continues, our measure of affordability, which takes into account income, interest rates, and house prices, indicates that homeownership is still within reach for renters.” As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ which allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you…

Rising Interest Rates Have Not Dampened Demand

Since the beginning of the year, mortgage interest rates have risen over a half of a percentage point (from 3.95% to 4.52%), according to Freddie Mac. Even a small rise in interest rates can greatly impact a buyer’s monthly mortgage payment. First American recently released the results of their quarterly Real Estate Sentiment Index (RESI), in which they surveyed title and real estate agents across the country about the impact of rising rates on first-time homebuyers. Real estate professionals around the country have not noticed a slowdown in demand for housing among young buyers; nearly 93% of all first-time homebuyers last quarter were between the ages of 21-35, with the largest share of buyers (51%) coming from those ages 26-30. First American’s Chief Economist Mark Fleming had this to say, “On a national level, mortgage rates would need to hit 5.6%, 1 percentage point above the current rate, before first-time homebuyers withdraw from the market.” So, what is slowing down sales? According to the last Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors, sales are now down 3.0% year-over-year and have fallen for the last three months. If rising interest rates aren’t to blame, then what is? Fleming addressed the cause, saying that: “The housing market is facing its greatest supply shortage in 60 years of record keeping, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. The ongoing housing supply shortage will make it difficult for first-time buyers to find a home to buy, even when they…

Cost Across Time [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: With interest rates still around 4.5%, now is a great time to look back at where rates have been over the last 40 years. Rates are projected to climb to 5.1% by this time next year according to Freddie Mac. The impact your interest rate makes on your monthly mortgage cost is significant! Lock in a low rate now while you can!

Homes are More Affordable in 44 out of 50 States

With both home prices and mortgage rates increasing this year, many are concerned about a family’s ability to purchase a major part of the American Dream – its own home. However, if we compare housing affordability today to the average affordability prior to the housing boom and bust, we are in much better shape than most believe. In Black Knight’s latest monthly Mortgage Monitor, they revealed that in the vast majority of the country, it is actually more affordable to purchase a home today than it was between 1995 to 2003 when looking at mortgage payments (determined by price and interest rate) as compared to incomes. Home prices are up compared to 1995-2003, but mortgage rates are still much lower now than at that time. Today, they stand at about 4.5%. Here are the average mortgage rates for each of the years mentioned: 1995 – 7.93% 1996 – 7.81% 1997 – 7.6% 1998 – 6.94% 1999 – 7.44% 2000 – 8.05% 2001 – 6.97% 2002 – 6.54% 2003 – 5.83% On the other hand, wages have risen over the last twenty years. Black Knight’s research revealed that, when comparing “the share of median income required to buy the median-priced home” today, to the average between 1995 to 2003, it is currently more affordable to purchase a home in 44 of 50 states. Here is a state map of the percentage change in the price-to-payment ratio. Positive numbers indicate that it is less affordable to buy while negative numbers indicate that…